How Motivational Interviewing Works

Aug 14, 2022

Motivational interviewing (MI) is an evidence-based practice used to help individuals develop a level of self-awareness and understanding of their core values. This counseling form uses carefully structured conversations to encourage someone to open up their beliefs and increase levels of motivation. Through this client-focused approach, the opportunity to discover your inner motivation will arise.

Goals of Motivational Interviewing

There are some key goals involved with the techniques of MI. Each of these goals helps play a role in the ultimate goal of improving levels of motivation to accomplish exterior goals within your life.

Enhancing Motivation

Increasing your motivation is the key goal of MI. By opening up your perspective during this professional conversation, you can potentially reach a deep level of thinking that helps you understand the reasons behind what you are doing. There are many eye-opening experiences that one can encounter through MI that can help you continue your success as an alumnus.

Resolve Ambivalence

You may find that you or other alumni have experienced feelings of ambivalence. This feeling of contradiction and uncertainty can often cause people to fear the idea of change. If you are feeling uncertain about your steps moving forward from treatment or maintaining your current lifestyle in recovery, MI can help you resolve these feelings. By overcoming this, you can learn to talk yourself into changing on your terms.

Improve Communication Skills

Through various conversations with professionals to help open up your perception to new opportunities, you will be able to gain new skills to communicate effectively. Communication skills are an excellent resource to rely on as alumni, as many employers seek individuals with strong skills in this area.

Along with improving your skills to communicate effectively, your listening skills will often improve as well. As listening plays a significant role in the act of communication, it is also a key skill that can assist in developing new questions. As your perception opens to new aspects of life, you can become more adaptable to new situations moving forward.

How Does Motivational Interviewing Work?

MI is based upon four core principles. Each of these principles acts together to provide the benefits that have been previously discussed.

#1. Expressing Empathy

By communicating with a professional and having them fulfill you with empathy towards your situation, you will likely feel more comfortable confiding in that individual. This can help you to have a safe space and truly communicate your feelings to make the most out of each therapeutic session.

#2. Supporting Self-Efficiency

Empowerment is a significant aspect of MI that can help you to feel self-efficient. When going through the process of recovery and overcoming obstacles as an alumnus, it can be easy to fall into the belief that you are not able to accomplish your goals on your own. 

As you look back on your progress, you will find that you have been the one in charge of your change. You may have been motivated by someone or something. However, each action you took to get to where you are today was completed by you.

MI can be a great way to see and understand the power you have in making changes to your future. Support may be needed at times, but ultimately you are the one who has completed the achievements to get you where you are today.

#3. Lower Resistance

When working through MI, it is common to feel a sense of resistance. Through this treatment technique, the goal is to lower levels of resistance that can stray you away from the idea of change. If levels of resistance arise, a professional will help discuss the reasons behind your resistance to the change at hand, helping you to overcome it healthily. Keeping an open mind can significantly benefit your success as an alumnus.

#4. Increase Discrepancy

Through MI, you can begin to develop a level of discrepancy between your thoughts and actions compared to your goals and desires. It can take a great deal of strength to look at your current habits and determine if they will help you to accomplish your goals moving forward. Putting your faith into a healthy lifestyle that helps contribute to your future goals can help you stay on track moving forward.

Lacking discrepancy can cause you to feel increased levels of fear towards the idea of change, therefore keeping you in the same position and halting your growth moving forward. Throughout life, we continuously have more knowledge to gain and experiences to encounter. Discrepancy along with the many other aspects of MI, can help contribute to your continuing success after treatment.

Motivational interviewing is a useful therapeutic technique to help you overcome different obstacles that prevent your success from continuing. Having a strong relationship with a professional is a great base point when implementing this therapeutic and spiritual technique. By opening up your mind to the different factors that are causing you to feel fear of potential change, you can understand the importance of the matter moving forward and understanding yourself on a more spiritual level. MI works through strong communication tactics between a professional and yourself to help you understand the deeper root of your motivation. By overseeing aspects of motivation at its core, you can begin to make the necessary changes for yourself to continue your success. To learn more about MI, how it works, and if it can be a beneficial tool for you, reach out to Renaissance Ranch at (801) 308-8898.